What Is Conversational Marketing?
I have a question for you. And you can just kind of call it out, I'll repeat. What's the highest converting sale medium of all time? What do you think? Think about all the different sales media that's out there. Cellular phone, webinar, what do you think? Which one's gonna convert the highest? Anybody wanna wager a guess?
I heard email; we got anything else? Highest converting, which one's converting? Current conversations. Got anything else? What, where?
I find that I quote people if I can talk to them on the phone.
Yeah, so phone conversations, or in person. Absolutely nothing beats face to face conversation. That is simply the highest converting-- so you talk about email, this doesn't scale as well, right? Conversion rate and scale are almost always opposite sides of the same coin. You can generally get more of one by trading some of the other. When you say, "We wanna grow this and we wanna scale it," generally you're sacrificing conversion rates. But when you do a fa...
ce to face sale, you're talking to somebody and you're sitting around a table, you can read their expressions. You can see if they're feeling it; you can see if they understand. You can respond to their very specific objection or question right there in real time. And just the mere act of social decorum, even if they don't like it, even if they're not interested, they're gonna hear you out because it's awkward when you're face to face with somebody talking and you're like, "Yeah, I don't think I'm that interested," to just be like, and walk away. But that's exactly what we do online all the time, back button. So you got a chance to keep them engaged. So what is the problem? Why don't we all just do face to face selling? The problem, as Marketing Mike here likes to say, is that face to face doesn't scale. And this idea of, "Yeah, but it doesn't scale," that is Kryptonite to just about any idea within most companies. If you wanna just kill just about any idea in just about any company, you can utter the phrase, "Yeah, but that won't scale," and most people are like, "Yep, well, got a point there! It won't scale; "I guess it's not worth doing." Yeah, but it won't scale. Yeah, but it won't scale. But it's not gonna scale; we can't scale that. I wanna talk a little bit about how do we more effectively scale conversational marketing, cause I do think there are ways to build efficiencies in, but I think that we've gotta ask the question, "When did scale become the penultimate goal?" Like, when did that become the thing of, we're only going to do that which will scale? And more importantly, when did not talking to our customers become a goal? When did the entire goal of marketing become we really want-- there's this group of kind of fleshy things over here, and we got this stuff over here that we want these fleshy things, they got wallets, those wallets have money in them, so we wanna exchange widgets with the fleshy things' money and not touch or talk to them. When did that kind of become the goal? Not everybody is totally freaked out by people. I think generally, we're like, yeah, we're okay with it. So how did we get here? How did this happen? And who's to blame for all this? Well I believe that digital marketing and digital marketers are to blame. And I think I can say that because I am a digital marketer and I have digitalmarketer.com. If you're not, and you don't, you can't say that, that's racist; but I can. So I think we're to blame for the overemphasis on scale, but I don't think that it's just, you know, we're talking about scale because digital marketers don't like people and we don't want to talk to people or anything like that. I think the main reason that this has happened is because of digital marketing and the efficiencies that digital and the abundance of social has created. There are just simply too many leads out there. We now have the problem of too many people are coming and seeing this stuff. Through social in particular, you have access to just about anybody on planet Earth, for almost just a tiny little itsy-bitsy bit amount of money compared to what it would have cost you in the past. I mean, imagine how difficult it would be to advertise and put your message in front of 100,000 targeted people. You can get started testing that for 10, 20 bucks, right? Throw 10, 20 bucks at it, let's see what happens. No, not all 100,000 are gonna see it, but a lot of them will. That's crazy, that's insane. We forget how good we have it, but it has created this thing of, "We got a lot of leads out there, lot of traffic coming. "We gotta figure out, how do we filter this down? "We can't talk to anybody, it won't scale." Guess what, if you have no leads, you have no traffic, scale is not an issue. You don't have that problem. So who else has this problem of too many leads and how do they solve it? Maybe there's something we can learn from them. Anybody ever been to the DMV? (audience laughter) What's their solution? "Take a number!" "You wait, you wait over there, "we'll get to you when we are ready." We got anybody willing to admit that they ever did this? Standing in line or maybe camping out overnight for the new iPhone? So what's Apple's solution to it? Not a whole lot different from the DMV. I could argue, worse, cause you don't even get to pick where you stand. Cause they're saying like, "Stand in line!" You get out of line, you're done. At least at the DMV, "Take a number," I can go sit in the corner, go to the bathroom if I want to. Their solution is "Stand in line!" Digital marketers, however, come up with a far more elegant solution. So much more elegant, we're so much better at this, right, we have the funnel. We have the funnel, that's what we've created. We have the funnel, we're gonna dump a whole bunch of fleshy things in the top and we'll see where it works out. And what was interesting is, I went and I looked, I began-- And this just happened organically. I was like, "I need an image of a funnel." So I went to stock image sites and I kept noticing some similarities. What are all of these images, and I didn't just-- They all kind of look like this. What are you seeing in these images? Noticing any similarities? I mean obviously, they all look like funnels, I get that. What else do you see? Anybody wanna throw it out?
Less and less people.
Yeah, lots of stuff up here, almost nothing down here. Lots of stuff up here, one poor little soul over there. Lots of people, less and less and less and less and less. It is solution through reduction. I guess the point that I'm making is our own models have taught us to expect low conversion rates. Our own models have taught us, "It's okay. "You're going to have low conversion rates." And marketers have been talking about this for a while. Andrew Chen, who's one of the best growth marketers, you know, in the business, wrote a blog post, god, I forget how many years ago, The Law of Poopy Clickthroughs, in case my mom's watching. And, you know, he talked about in this blog post, back in 1994, the average banner ad received about a 78% clickthrough rate. Think about that. 78%. When three out of four people who saw the very first banner ad that went up clicked on it. They're like, "Well that's awesome." And it was the ugliest thing in the world. By 2011 it was down to a half a point, Facebook ads. By 2011 we're down to half a point. It hasn't gotten better, y'all. The only thing we have going for us is it can't get a whole heck of a lot worse, okay? So these are the averages; this is what happens over time. The average landing page conversion rate, and this is landing page conversion rate for lead capture, not sale, lead capture, is about 2.35%. Now I don't totally-- this one to me seems high, but the average email open rates. This isn't a click, this is just somebody opening it, this is pulling out like bounces and a lot of other things, so I think that's why it's higher than you might be seeing, but still, 24.8%. 3/4, you know, or yeah, 3/4; sometimes I don't math good. 25% never even opening it, and I believe that's high. Normally it's 10% or less. I think this one's interesting. The percentage of human beings excited about receiving a sales call from a stranger, that's 0%. (audience laughter) And that source is nearly four decades of my own personal human existence. (audience laughter) so what's the solution? What's the solution to this problem of conversion rates going down, but we've got all these leads at the top, we gotta get it, we gotta get a bunch up there so we have more flowing down the the bottom so what do we need to do? We gotta get more traffic; we just gotta get-- Gimme more, more, more, more traffic so that we can get more leads. We gotta scale, we gotta scale, we gotta scale. That's the only solution, we need to scale more. And this is why most marketers get on this kind of hamster wheel of doom, where you're like, you know, this poor little guy right here, yeah? (audience laughter) It's sad but it's kind of adorable too. Yeah, and so, but that's what we get. We get on this hamster wheel and we can't get off. And the only solution is more. And that's why we see diminishing returns in so many of these channels. I can tell you, if the marketing activity that you are doing, if the sales activity that you're doing, if the social activity that you are doing continues to perform worse and worse and worse day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year, there is a flaw in your strategy. If the thing that you are doing just keeps getting a little bit worse, it's time to try something new. It's time to maybe consider that, you know, maybe we shouldn't just throw more brute force at this. It's a very American thing to do, like I'm hip, that's what we do. But sometimes you just need to throw everything out and start over again. And I believe that we should consider giving face to face, human to human conversations a try. I think that that is what's driving the new old trend of conversational marketing. The fact that the stuff that we were doing, we've now reached a point of diminishing returns where it's not working. We have to go back to the beginning. That's why those of you who are here, those of you who are watching online, that are hearing this for the first time, you're early in this. Your competition is not going to want to do this. They're gonna think you're crazy when they see you doing this. They're gonna say, "That's dumb, that doesn't scale." That's generally when you know you're onto something.